We have mostly stayed away from the yoga centre this week as the floor sanders have been in and have been undergoing a momentous sanding process. It turns out that these boards are really hard to sand. Over the years there have been different layers of paint on them, parts of which are proving difficult to remove and there has also been many floorboards needing replacing. It is taking longer then the sanding team thought it would and as a result will be costing us more. However, it will be worth it and already the lighter boards are giving a lovely sense of space and light to the studios, cloakroom and lobby. We have also had the electrician in and have had some issues with the lighting, which also will result in more expense. However, flooring and lighting are, in our opinion, really important in creating the right feel, ambience and level of comfort in the studios.
This whole project is running on a very tight budget. We were very fortunate (actually, it took A LOT of hard work), to receive a business start-up loan from the Norfolk and Waveney Enterprise Services (NWES). As part of this process I have had a Business Mentor who has supported me to write my busines plan and to understand and put together the financial spreadsheets. I have learnt so much. They have arranged a loan of £35,000 for us at a good interest rate, payable over the next 5 years. Without that funding (plus some funding from certain very kind and wonderful family members), none of this would be happening. We are very lucky and very grateful. But still, the budget is extremely tight. We had considered doing a crowdfunding campaign and then had decided against it, preferring to just get on with it, with what we have, working within our means. However having seen how successfully other crowdfunding campaigns are currently going, I reserve the right to change my mind about that!
I took a little trip out to Emmaus earlier in the week to see what I could source in terms of furniture. Emmaus is an amazing international charity, originally founded in Paris in the 1940's. They create communities where homeless people can come and live, work and be part of a constructive process of rehabilitation. The Cambridge Emmaus community is up the A10 in Landbeach. I was really touched by what a nice space it was and I did find some nice teacups there for the centre.
So much else has gone on this week. I looked after my 9 month old goddaughter for 4 days and nights - a real joy yet a real reminder of how hard it can be to function on very little sleep and with a little tiddler crawling about everywhere. My life - and work connected to the centre - has literally been on hold. My son went back to school last Friday to begin Year 5 and my daughter begins secondary school tomorrow. It's a real time of change and growth as we negotiate new boundaries with our children in terms of their independence. Although sad to be spending less time with the children now that they are going back to school, I also look forward to having a bit more structure at home and more working hours during the day as I have SO MUCH TO DO!
Yesterday we made an appearance at the Mitchams and More festival to hand out flyers and connect with the local community. I bumped into various lovely people that I know, including Rachel Snape, the head teacher of the Spinney Primary School with whom I used to work, and Lou Foster who will be one of our children's yoga teachers at the centre. I also chatted with Louise from Camyoga who is also moving into the area with another new yoga studio. We had a hug and acknowledged our new neighbourly status. The residents of CB4 are going to be truly spoilt for choice in yoga!
And I am functioning today again on very little sleep, as I was out dancing to deep disco until 4am this morning as part of my good friend's Pink Festival celebrations (Pink Picnic is a fantastic organisation in Cambridge creating community events to promote inclusion)
It can't be all work work work ;)
A friend last night reminded me that if I am guided by my heart and the business unfolds from that place, then it will be a success. I was reassured by that as it is certainly true - this project really is a labour of love. And on October 14th it will be time for its birth.